Aerial photo showing section of planned multi-use path for next to Boucherie Road. (Photo/Google Maps)

Aerial photo showing section of planned multi-use path for next to Boucherie Road. (Photo/Google Maps)

West Kelowna has priorities other than multi-use path, says councillor

Work on paved path next to Boucherie Road to start later this year

The multi-use path planned for Boucherie Road drew mixed reactions from West Kelowna council during Tuesday’s (May 10) meeting.

Councillor Rob Friesen noted it’s a big program and he is happy to see it happening.

“The ability for us to do this now and get that active transportation loop is wonderful,” added Friesen.

Construction of the three-metre wide paved path will be scheduled over two phases, with the first stretching from Gregory Road to Green Bay Road later this year. The second phase covers Odgen Road to Gregory and will be done as early as possible in 2023.

Councillor Rick de Jong expressed concern about interaction between cyclists and others using the path.

“Particularly with today’s e-bikes zooming down there at 20 or 25 km/h and hour while you’ve got a family with a stroller walking down the same path,” he said.

While glad to see the project move ahead, de Jong noted other projects in the community also need to be done, and asked staff why Boucherie Road was suddenly a priority.

“I don’t recall seeing this in our strategic priorities or previous plans prior to this spring,” said de Jong. “I think residents should know what the rationale is as to why this project is here on the list when it wasn’t six months ago.”

Staff told council the drive is to work on bike and pedestrian paths to connect several neighbourhoods with the aim of providing more access to active transportation and less reliance on vehicles. Participation with Quails Gate and Hatch wineries was also a factor in moving the Boucherie Road project forward.

“If we can up with a game plan that focuses on those other areas in the community, I can support that,” added de Jong.

The total cost for the project is $2.6 million.

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